On January 25, 2017 Skyline College launched ten new internships addressing sustainability and energy saving opportunities on our campus and across the San Mateo County Community College District. As part of Energize Colleges, a program funded through a partnership with PG&E and Strategic Energy Innovations, campuses have the opportunity to develop internships and hire interns to address sustainability goals while providing students with work experience that introduces them to green workforce careers. The program also aims to make connections to local high school students by requiring each intern to present some aspect of their work or green career opportunities to local high school students.
Internships are designed to provide energy savings for the campuses and to engage and educate the community on the topic of sustainability. The projects include: working with facilities to develop energy and water audits on campus for identifying potential areas for savings, outreach to campus groups on sustainability related projects, and working with faculty to assess the feasibility of water savings through fog catching technology, among others.
January 25, 2017 was the kickoff for nine of the ten interns in which they learned more about the program and strategized on plans to tackle specific sustainability issues on campus. The kickoff was led by Angelique Fuentes, Project Coordinator for the Energize Colleges Program. Speakers for the event included: Dr. Carla Grandy (Professor of Earth Science), Joseph Fullerton (District Energy and Sustainability Manager for SMCCD), and Rebecca Aviles (Energize Colleges Regional Supervisor). The speakers focused on the purpose of the internships and the potential impacts the interns can make for the growing issue of climate change and energy and water conservation needs of communities.
This is the first year of a three-year project that will continue to provide internship positions to students interested in exploring the green workforce and to those passionate about sustainability. In future years, we hope to connect with more groups on campus as well as issues at the heart of our campus culture. For more information or to propose an internship idea, contact Angelique Fuentes (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Carla Grandy (email@example.com).
Article by Dr. Carla Grandy and Angelique Fuentes, Photographs by Angelique Fuentes